Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Recipe: Pasta Bake

Oh, hi.  It's been a while.  Between planning my wedding and stressing about grad school, I managed to neglect my poor little blog.  My bad.  I still love cooking, and clearly love eating, so the other day I whipped this bad Larry up.  I borrowed pieces of this recipe from my good friend Giada...yeah we're on a first name basis.  It's a great meal.  It lasts a week.  I kind of had a love/hate relationship with it by day 3.  Like I literally froze half and still had enough for a 9x13 casserole dish.  Yeah.  Make this for your next potluck or family event (hi Mother's Day dinner.)  The key here is to use freshly grated Fontina.  Don't skimp on this step!  It's almost a life-changing cheese...real talk.

  • 2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • 2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • about a 1/2 package of slice mushrooms, diced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (that's about 1.5 jars of store bought...again, my fav. is Barilla Arribiata)
  • 1 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella (I used regular shredded mozz)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed (that's one 8 oz. bag)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping (I went semi-homemade here and used 4C shredded parm in the jar...cares)
  • s&p

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. It will still be kind of hard.  It's fine.  It's gonna cook more in the oven.
In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

this is pre-baked.  SO. MUCH. PASTA.
Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Recipe: American Chop Suey...I think

I have no idea what American Chop Suey is.  Like, who invited that name?  Is it the same thing as Goulash?  And WTF is Goulash? I did not make that word up.  It looks like Chop Suey so it must be the same because someone DEFINITELY made up the name, "American Chop Suey."  Growing up I think we called it, 'Spaghetti and Meat Sauce."  I'm gonna combine the two and just call it, "Macaroni and Meat with Some Peppers Thrown in."  It's pretty tasty.  See for yourself.

1 box elbow macaroni
1 lb. ground turkey
1-2 green peppers, diced
1 onion, diced
3 gloves garlic, minced
chopped fresh parsley
1 large can crushed tomatoes 

Cook pasta according to directions.  Set aside.  In a separate saucepan, brown turkey and add onions and garlic until onions are transparent.  Add peppers and spices and cook until peppers are tender. 

 Mix in half the sauce and simmer.  Once everything is combined, transfer mixture to macaroni and stir well, adding remaining sauce from the can.  Top with fresh Mozzarella and parsley.

oh yeah, SIDENOTE: this makes enough food for 2 grown men and me, plus seconds, plus leftovers.   Which I'm not mad about.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Recipe: Corned Beef & Cabbage

So I'm a little late on posting our St. Patty's Day feast, but here it is if you're still craving a boiled dinner.  This one is seriously easy but it does take FOR-EVER to cook, so start chopping early and get it in the pot before you do anything else for the day.  It's worth the wait, though.  Obviously this is best enjoyed with a cold beer.  Obviously.

3lb corned beef brisket
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 head of cabbage (or more if it fits in your Crock)
1 onion, peeled and sliced in quarters
1 1/2 c. apple juice
1 1/2 c. water

place the potatoes, carrots, and onions in the Crock Pot.  Place corned beef on top and cover with water and apple juice.  Add the little spice packet that comes with the corned beef, sprinkled right over the top.  Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours.  Add cabbage when there's about 2 hours of cook time left.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Recipe: Shrimp & Orzo

I've been finding pretty much all of my recipe inspirations lately on Pinterest.  So have you.  Don't lie.  It's the best invention ever.   No one has an original thought anymore and I'm totally OK with it. 

Last night's recipe was inspired by Ina Garten...aka the Barefoot Contessa.  I pretty much used her recipe as is (although scaled down for two people) but was too lazy to wait a hour before eating so we just scarfed it down while it was still hot.  This one's fairly healthy and would be amazing with my new favorite ingredient, quinoa, but sometime's orzo really just hits the spot.  This made a bunch of leftovers so we ate it cold for lunch...even better.  Enjoy :)

1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/2 box of orzo, cooked as instructed on the box
1 English cucumber, diced
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh scallions, chopped
2-3 artichoke hearts, diced
juice of 2 lemons
1/3 c. EVOO ( I eyeballed it)
feta cheese
1/2 tsp. dill (I used dried dill but fresh is probably great, too)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Boil water for orzo & cook as directed.   Drizzle shrimp with EVOO, salt and pepper and bake for 6-8 minutes until pink.  Meanwhile, mix lemon juice, salt, pepper, and EVOO in a bowl, whisk until blended.  Once orzo is ready, drain and add dressing while the orzo is hot.  When shrimp is cooked, add it, along with all remaining ingredients, to the orzo.  

I made some roasted cauliflower to accompany this dish by drizzling EVOO over some fresh cauliflower and baking at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until fork tender.  Also, since I recently started working at a bakery, I occasionally (read: daily) take home fresh bread, and we eat it with everything.  Sue me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Recipe: Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells

Last night my parents came over for dinner and I made them a Giada DeLaurentiis recipe that was delish.  These stuffed shells went over way better than my last attempt at a stuffed-shell-eqsue dinner and I think everyone was pleased.  I followed the recipe for the shells as posted here but I cheated and used caned Barilla Aribiatta sauce because I'm lazy and it's good.  Mangia!


  • 1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 cups Arribbiata sauce 
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

these are my pictures.  Just imagine that I am as talented as or more so than Giada.  I like to think we're on the same level.

To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of Arrabbiata sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24 shells (EDITOR'S NOTE: I HAD ENOUGH CHEESE MIXTURE FOR BASICALLY A WHOLE BOX OF SHELLS). Drizzle the remaining Arrabbiata Sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.
To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes (20 minutes if shells are unfrozen.)

we got a little distracted between eating a lot and talking non-stop about our upcoming wedding that I forgot to snap a pic of the finished product until it looked like this.  At least you can tell we liked it...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Recipe: Rosemary Skewered Scallops

Today I went on a fun road trip with some of besties to Western Mass to stroll the streets of Northampton and relive our glory days circa 2007.  The last thing I wanted to do when I got home was cook dinner, so thankfully when my love called me mid-afternoon I kindly suggested he pick something up from the store--his choice--for supper.  I was surprised and grateful when I came home to this gem marinating away.  The ingredients are so fresh and simple that you can't and don't want to mess with them too much.  Just trust it and it'll be delicious.

Thanks to my fiance for a fabulous Monday night meal, xo!

1 lb sea scallops
a few springs of rosemary

Wash and dry the scallops well.  Skewer 2-4 (depending on size) scallops on each sprig of rosemary and drizzle the EVOO over each skewer. Sprinkle with salt and a bunch of pepper.   Let marinate in the fridge at least 30 minutes.

Heat your grill to HIGH.  Using a grill pan (you know, like you'd use to steam veggies), grill scallops for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

We made a little tomato-mozzarella to accompany our scallops...because, well, why the hell not.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Guest Blog! WHOOPIE!!!

Remember that time when this happened?  Emily from The Three Bite Rule has been kind enough to return the favor with not only a guest blog, but a guest blog that invloves BAKING.  This is HUGE for NOSH.  Some of you return readers might have caught on that um...I can't bake.  Emily's Oatmeal Whoopie Pie recipe, adapted from one of her fav cookbooks, looks to die.  When I get that big orange mixer on the BB&B registry of my dreams, these are happening.  Thank you to Emily for this delish recipe! Here's her whoopie lovin' below.  Don't forget to check out her blog here!

Oatmeal Whoopie Pies 

I loooove whoopie pies. If I had my way, I wouldn't have had a wedding cake, I would have served whoopie pies. Don't get me  wrong, I ended up loving the cake, but how yummy would that have been?! Seriously, way better than the cupcake craze.  I take the bottom off the cake part and put it on top of the frosting to make it whoopie pie-ish. 

I’m not a big baker but now that I have lots more space and a fancy mixer, I hope to bake more. These came out great which was definitely a confidence booster.
4 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (packed) brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups rolled oats (not fast-cooking)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
½ cup raisins (optional)
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and both sugars on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla dn beat until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
In a food processor or blender, process ¾ cup of the oatmeal until it resembles whole grain flour. Transfer the ground oatmeal to a medium bowl and add the remaining oatmeal, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the oatmeal mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 11 minutes each or until the cookies begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes about 48 two-inch cakes.
Classic Marshmallow Cream
1 ½ cups Marshmallow Fluff
1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Marshmallow Fluff and the vegetable shortening, starting on low and increasing to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Reduce mixer speed to low, and add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and beat until incorporated.
Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.
I was really proud of these and they were delicious. I might fill the whoopie pan a bit less next time because they were pretty large. Using the whoopie pan, I made 24 cakes, thus making 12 whoopie pies.

The cookbook is cute. I liked that it was casual (makin’ whoopie, beating filling until you forget about it, etc). The pictures are great and there are some great combinations (bacon chive goat cheese filling or pistachio cardimum cakes, or mocha etc).